As a leader, you may have considered ways in which you can either mentor to another or gain a mentor to help you grow as a professional. Mentoring can be a rewarding experience, when the right people are matched up. Mentoring allows for the direct transfer of information from one skilled professional to another, through hands on team and relationship building.
Despite all this, however, sometimes mentoring does not work out as well as we hope for, because of mythos surrounding mentoring. Before you go into a mentoring arrangement with anyone, be sure to dispel these myths.
Myth 1 – Mentors are hard to find.
The great thing about finding a mentor today is the ability to quickly find someone interested in very little time. Thanks to industry associations and mentoring clubs, you can search for mentors or offer to become a mentor in very little time. Social networks and business directories also provide places to find mentors.
Myth 2 – Mentoring takes a lot of time.
Depending on what you want to take away from it, the time you spend in actual mentoring activities is up to you. Some mentors work directly with their mentees, continually monitoring their progress. Others choose for periodic meetings to check in, while some just merely provide occasional support for difficult career situations.
Myth 3 – Being a mentor is a lot of responsibility.
Perhaps you are afraid to become a mentor because you don’t particularly want or need the responsibility of someone else? Or maybe you worry about burdening someone else with your mentoring request. The truth is that mentors and mentees get a lot out of the relationship and are capable of taking responsibility for their own actions.
Myth 4 – Mentoring is a long-term commitment.
Mentoring is not a life sentence. The beauty of mentoring is that you are not stuck with any particular time frame and you can end your relationship at any time. Many mentors choose to keep an open door policy with their mentees for a year or more, but you can decide how long you want to be involved.
Myth 5 – Mentors are only for inexperienced.
The great thing about having a mentor is that you can benefit from this arrangement at any point in your career because there is always someone who is more experienced than you. Choose a mentor who can act as a guide to the kind of career or role you want to achieve in the near future.
Get more out of mentoring by honing your communication skills this year. Consider the advantages of getting training from Dale Carnegie.